Manchester 61, Bluffton 58
Manchester squeaks past Bluffton 61-58 to remain perfect in the HCAC
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
January 9, 2008
NORTH MANCHESTER, Indiana - The Bluffton University women's basketball team took to the road on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008, but the Beavers came up just short, 61-58, at perennial HCAC power Manchester College. The loss dropped Bluffton to 6-7 overall, and 1-4 in conference play, while the Spartans improved to 9-4 with a spotless 4-0 record in HCAC action.
The Beavers seemed to be firing on all cylinders as Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) connected on a three-pointer on Bluffton's first possession. Bell continued to shoot well behind the arc throughout the game, finishing 5-of-5. Manchester answered on its first possession with a Sarah Conwell triple, tying the game at three early on.
Bluffton was able to capitalize on a missed Manchester layup when Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) grabbed the rebound and found Bell for another three-ball which gave Bluffton an 11-7 lead less than five minutes into the game. The Beavers extended their lead to seven points, 15-8, on a pair of Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) foul shots with 13:31 left in the first half.
Manchester responded with a 12-0 run to open up a 20-15 lead over the Beavers at the 6:19 mark of the first half.
Four straight Kailey Honn points put the Spartans up by seven with 4:15 to play in the half before Kim Miller split a pair of free throws to bring her team within two points, 27-25, with 1:05 on the clock. Manchester would push their lead to three at the half following a Kelley Meiklejohn hoop just before the break.
Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton/Bluffton) got Bluffton on the scoreboard first in the second half on a layup with an assist from senior Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox). Bush capped a 10-2 Bluffton run during the first three minutes of the second stanza for a 36-31 lead over the Spartans.
Bluffton kept its slim advantage over the home team until late in the second half when Manchester's Sarah Conwell gave her team the lead, 50-49, with 5:24 left on the clock. An old-fashioned three-point play by Conwell and four points from Sarah Bose allowed the Spartans to hold on for a 61-58 win.
Freshman Kim Miller grabbed a game and career-high 10 rebounds. She also dished out a game-high five assists. Amanda Bell hit 7-of-8 from the field, including 5-for-5 on triples, for a game-high 19 points. Vicki Auer dropped in 12 points and Lindsay Bush chipped in with 10. She also pulled down seven rebounds.
Both teams shot almost identical percentages from the field. Bluffton made 20-of-51 for 39.2 percent, and Manchester hit 22-of-56 for 39.3 percent. The Beavers were better from long range, 6-of-13 for 46.2 percent, compared to the Spartans 4-of-20 for 20 percent. Manchester swatted away nine Bluffton offerings, five more than the Beavers rejected.
The Beavers will look to get their second conference win of the year when they host Hanover College on Saturday, January 12. Tip time is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Founders Hall